Priya Jhawar
Director, Ashtanga Yoga Austin

My mother was the first person to spark my interest in yoga, meditation and spiritual practice. Just as she grew up watching her mother’s devotional practices, I too grew up watching and learning as my mother performed her daily japa (meditative repetition of mantra), puja (prayers and acts of worship) and study of shastras (scriptures and sacred texts). At a young age, I became fluent in Hindi, studied classical Sanskrit texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, and started to learn about yoga philosophy. After completing my training and certification in classical Bharatanatyam Dance, I began to cultivate an asana practice (the physical postures of yoga) in 2001. Throughout law school and in my career as a business litigation attorney, the practice of yoga helped me to stay balanced and grounded, especially amidst the throes of corporate life. Having fought many long and hard battles in and out of the courtroom, yoga taught me the beauty of surrender. In 2009, after significant life events spurred me to rethink my dharma and life purpose, I decided to leave the practice of law to delve deeper into my own sadhana and the practice of teaching, with the goal of helping others realize the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that yoga has to offer.

I currently train with my guru, Shri R. Sharath Jois, at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore, India. I have made multiple trips of extended study to the KPJAYI and received Level 2 Authorization and the blessings of my guru to teach the Ashtanga Yoga method. I formerly apprenticed with KPJAYI Authorized Level 2 teacher, Angela Jamison, assisting in her yoga shala in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and have been studying within the Ashtanga tradition since 2004. I am forever grateful to all those who have instilled within me deep love and dedication for the Ashtanga Yoga practice. As my dear teacher says, “Devoting oneself to the lineage of Guruji is to enter an ancient river of teachings that flows to an ocean of wisdom.” I am humbled and honored to be part of this lineage, and strive to uphold the parampara and teachings as I have received them from my guru.

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